Bolivia will look to keep their hopes of qualifying for Qatar 2022 alive as they face Venezuela Friday on the road. In a wide-open qualifying field, last-place Venezuela are the only team nearly certain to be eliminated.
As the soccer lines currently stand, Venezuela are actually -150 favorites despite having just two wins in 14 CONMEBOL qualifiers.
Game: Venezuela vs Bolivia
Location: Estadio Agustín Tovar, Barinas, Venezuela
Date/Time: Friday, Jan. 28th, 5:00 p.m. ET
|Venezuela||–½ -150||-150||2½ +105o||1½ -115o |
|Bolivia||+½ +120||+435||2½ -135u||½ -150o |
Venezuela vs Bolivia Betting Preview
Bolivia defeated Venezuela, 3-1, in World Cup qualifying last June as Marcelo Moreno scored a brace. Prior to Bolivia’s win, Venezuela had won three straight in this matchup.
Four or more goals have been scored in the last seven meetings between these teams. In the last decade, this series is even, with three wins apiece and two draws.
Disappointing Campaign for Venezuela
Venezuela’s slim hopes of qualifying were still alive following a 2-1 win over Ecuador in October, but they’ve faded since. La Vinotinto have lost their last three matches and been one of the most disappointing soccer picks.
In November, Venezuela were defeated, 1-0, by Ecuador and lost, 2-1, at home vs Peru. With just seven points through 14 matches, La Vinotinto are 10 points out of the fifth-place qualification playoff slot and just four matches remaining. Even if the Venezuelans run the table, they’re almost certainly guaranteed to miss out on the World Cup.
Not lacking in the talent department, Venezuela have four players who are employed in Europe’s top five leagues. Others, like Atlanta United striker Josef Martinez, and defender Roberto Rosales, have been regulars for years.
Salomon Rondon, Venezuela’s all-time leading scorer, has only taken part in two qualifying matches so far, but the Everton man is on the squad this time around. Look for him and Granada midfielder Darwin Machis to try and make something happen.
Bolivia Headed to First World Cup for 28 Years?
Bolivia have won four of their last five World Cup qualifying matches. In their last round of qualifiers, they had two tough tests vs Peru and Uruguay. Bolivia dropped the former match, 3-0, but stunningly defeated Uruguay by the same scoreline. Juan Carlos Arce, a 36-year old striker, scored twice and Marcelo Moreno added the other.
Moreno is Bolivia’s all-time leading scorer with 29 goals, nine of those have coming in this qualifying campaign. Moreno, not Neymar or Messi, is the competition’s leading scorer to this point. He’s a huge reason why Bolivia are within reach of their first World Cup since 1994, and have been a solid pick for betting online recently.
In eighth place, just two points behind fifth place Peru, Bolivia are in the midst of a six-team battle for the last two qualification places. This round of qualifiers is absolutely crucial for Bolivia, as both of their matches are their most winnable of the those remaining. They host Chile at home next Tuesday, where they’re an excellent 4-0-1.
On the road, things haven’t gone as well, as Bolivia have compiled an 0-5-2 record. Look for them to go all out for three points here.
We can’t recommend taking Venezuela at -150. They’re been entirely too inconsistent in qualifiers, and playing at home hasn’t guaranteed them much of anything lately.
Bolivia have been greater than the sum of their parts in these qualifiers, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see them pull off two consecutive results vs Venezuela and Chile.
Bolivia’s moneyline, at +435 in the sportsbook, looks to be a great value, but we rather take them +½ ATS.
Pick: Bolivia +½ (+120)